- Colorados crazy cat, John Williams Davis, gets folksy at Swallow Hill this week.
With 11 No. 1 hits, four platinum and two gold records, and legions of adoring fans, country singer-songwriter Clay Walker could care less that we've never heard of him. The Beaumont, Texas, honky-tonker has a denim shirt and a million-dollar smile, and is touring on his seventh and latest studio album, A Few Questions, which has already charted three Top 20 hits, including "Jesus Was a Cowboy." Ol' Clay's doing something right. He plays tonight at 7 p.m. at the Pikes Peak Center (190 S. Cascade Ave.), and tickets are $36. Get yours at any TicketsWest outlet by calling 576-2626 or visiting www.ticketswest.com.
Tonight, head up to Denver to catch local-boy-done-good John Williams Davis at Swallow Hill (71 E. Yale Ave.). The melodies of Davis' folksy roots music are reminiscent of Randy Newman, all eclectically arranged. Judging from a picture of him whispering to a necktie-wearing guitar, he's a weirdo -- but at least he's Colorado's weirdo. He plays Swallow Hill's Daniels Hall tonight at 8 p.m., and tickets are $12. Get yours at www.swallowhill.com or call 303/777-1003.
Tonight's your last chance to get to The Importance of Being Earnest, presented by the Pulpit Rock Players at Pulpit Rock Church (301 Austin Bluffs Parkway). Oscar Wilde's Being Earnest is famous, you know, and surprisingly justified as such. Those poncy, uptight Victorians! You get 'em, Wilde! Tonight's show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. To get yours, call 598-6767 or boogie on over to www.pulpitrock.com.
Make a joyful noise or two today at the Benet Hill Center (2577 N. Chelton Road), where a lot of fa-so-la-ing will be heard from the Shape Note Singing School. The focus of today's activities is the history and instruction of shape note singing, an a capella choral tradition recently highlighted in the film Cold Mountain. Nationally renowned Sacred Harp vocal traditionalist Ginnie Ely leads the school, and an on-grounds potluck rounds out the day's events. Beginners are encouraged to attend. The cost is $5 in advance or $10 at the door. For more information or to pre-register, call 229-4405
- Mike Doughty, coughing solo at the Bluebird.
At first glance, it seems like Solid State rockers Haste the Day are more in the business of producing moodily lit photographs of girls than music. But they've toured their butts off and played with hard-core superfreaks Poison the Well, Sick of It All and Papa Roach, and apparently they have some kind of message if their participation in the Christian-music Cornerstone Festival is any clue. They'll be blowin' the lid off the Navajo Hogan (2817 N. Nevada Ave.) tonight with Lenore, Calico System and They Murdered Miracles. Tickets are $8. Get yours at www.sodajerkpresents.com.
Get thee to the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover (First Avenue at Milwaukee) this evening for a presentation and book signing by author Jim Fergus. Award-winning writer of One Thousand White Women, Fergus is discussing and inscribing his new book, The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932. This story of one man's thirst for adventure, and the Apache girl who invites him into her world, is apparently based on historical events. The Wild Girl does not presumably contain insights into Southeast Asian fiscal policy or poems about robots with sexual identity issues, but hey, it's a Western. The event takes place at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more, give the Tattered Cover a call at 303/322-7727.
It's worth a trip to Denver to catch former Soul Coughing frontman and notorious oddball Mike Doughty at the Bluebird Theater (3317 E. Colfax Ave.). This spoken-word-like songwriter is touring on his sophomore solo release, Haughty Melodic, which is as moody, psychedelic and weird as Soul Coughing was moody, jazzy and weird. Joining Doughty tonight is Kelly Buchanan, once called a "toothier PJ Harvey." Ouch. The 9 p.m. show is all-ages and runs you $15. To get tickets in advance, check out www.nipp.com.
If nothing excites you more than musical theater, you might consider investing in some adult diapers this weekend, 'cause it's gonna be a doozy. Check out the frenetic wackiness of Bye Bye Birdie as presented by the Castle Rock Players at DCHS Auditorium (2842 Front St. in Castle Rock), a madcap li'l tale about ber-famous music star Conrad Birdie and the bedlam surrounding his last publicity stunt. The timeless Birdie is onstage tonight, tomorrow, June 3 and June 4 at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday shows on May 29 and June 5 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults or $10 for students, seniors or kids. Log on to www.crplayers.org for more information, or call 303/814-7740 to get tickets.
-- Aaron Retka